Yes, your motorcycle must be insured if you want to drive it on NYC streets and could be expensive.

You’re in for a rude awakening if you live in New York City and want to purchase motorcycle insurance. A recent query for rates in all five boroughs found that a motorcycle policy and rider was nearly three times the cost of any other area in the state.

It’s not uncommon for motorcycle insurance premiums to be more expensive in large metropolitan areas. In the case of New York City, it’s important to remember that about 40 percent of the state’s population resides there. Here’s what you need to know about motorcycle insurance in the Big Apple.

Rates are based on statistics

Rates are determined by more than your driving record. Insurance protection is based on statistics; things like the type of vehicle (in this case, a motorcycle), how many other motorcycle owners in the area have filed claims, and even theft rates.

Each insurance company determines its policy rates based on the data it collects. They also get assistance with overall information from sources such as the New York State Department of Health.

You don’t have to be a professional insurance underwriter to see that motorcycle accident and fatalities are major contributors to the high cost of policies in New York City. Recent statistics show that 16 people a day on average are treated in hospitals for motorcycle accident-related injuries, while about 11 people visit New York City emergency rooms each day because of motorcycle accidents.

The New York State Department of Health’s database reveals that motorcyclists are 37 times more likely to die in a roadway accident than other motorists. There are financial consequences to this which contribute to the high cost of insurance coverage.

About 170 people are killed in motorcycle accidents every year in New York City, which translates to tens of millions of dollars in lost wages, hospital bills, funeral costs, and more. Here are two health-related statistics to give perspective:

  • Hospitalization and treatment related to motorcycle accidents are up to $80 million annually.
  • Emergency room treatments specifically related to motorcycle accidents can exceed $8 million each year in New York City.

New York City motorcycle insurance requirements

Here’s an overview of the minimum insurance requirements if you want to own and ride a motorcycle in New York City.

State laws require you to carry liability motorcycle insurance. This helps to protect you against costs you may incur if you are the cause of an accident that results in property damage or bodily injury suffered by others. Additionally, there are minimum coverage limits for specific liabilities you must carry:

  • $10,000 for property damage
  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for total bodily injury in the event that multiple people are hurt in the accident
  • $50,000 for death per person
  • $100,000 for death if there are multiple fatalities in the accident

Important motorcycle insurance details

Besides the requirements and minimum coverage that must be met, New York state laws have two specific things that any motorcycle owner must be aware of.

  1. Be careful who you buy your motorcycle coverage through. The state allows only insurance companies licensed to do business in New York to provide you with coverage.
  2. The name on your motorcycle registration must match the name on your motorcycle insurance policy.

You are required by the state of New York to surrender your license plates if you own a car and let your insurance lapse. This requirement doesn’t include motorcycle owners. You can keep your plates, but you are not allowed to drive your motorcycle on public roads during the insurance coverage lapse.

New York is a “no-fault” insurance state. Vehicle owners are not required to carry personal injury protection coverage – but their rights to sue after an accident is limited. Motorcycle owners are excluded from the state’s no-fault rules, however. You still don’t have to carry personal injury protection coverage, but the rights to sue in the event of an accident are not limited.

New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the world, which means these minimum requirements may not offer you the financial protection you need to protect your assets in case of a lawsuit. Find out how insurance can protect you. Get a free quote for motorcycle insurance now.